How to flatten an illustration made of borders and shapes quickly

I drew thie illustration below. As you can see (“Outlines”), the illustration is made of shapes and borders.
In the end, it looks like the illustration in the center.

Is there any trick to quickly create 2 compound paths out of this?
As a result I want two layers: (1) Background, (2) white borders.

In the 3rd image you can see what happens, if I use pathfinder.
I’m an advanced Illustrator user and I’m aware why it looks how it looks and how to achieve my desired result. However, I hope for a work-around that lets me create a flattened vector easily. Tracing a Hi-Res PNG isn’t a solution for me. I want perfect lines.

Thank you!

enter image description here


I do not understand your Pathfinder results.

There must be some construction aspect which might be a problem. I realize you may be unaware of what that may be.

I don’t see anything suspect in your outline view…. so I’m really not sure how you get the Pathfinder results you are getting.

  • Are there open paths with a fill applied to them somewhere? If yes, close those paths.

  • Or you may be using a bad option for this artwork when using Pathfinder.

  • Or perhaps you need to Expand Appearance and then Expand, and then use Pathfinder.

Expand and then Pathfinder > Merge should absolutely get you flat artwork which looks correct.

enter image description here

Source : Link , Question Author : herrvorragend , Answer Author : Scott

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